NeoDex:Mr. Insane interview
- NB - This was the Neodex's April Fools joke for 2012. As far as we know, there is no plans to re-release Curse of Maraqua in 3D, and Mr. Insane probably doesn't even wear his mitre indoors.
The entire interview can be found below.
For a man called Mr. Insane, his office cubicle seems unassuming enough. A clock on the wall ticks away, a stack of ring-binders sits on the filing cabinet, and an old school photograph smiles out from the desk. It's only on closer inspection the insanity shines through - the photograph is in fact of a school of mackerel; the ring-binders are all labelled "World Domination Plans"; and the clock on the wall has four hands, all the same length.
I'm not given much time to look around before His Madness arrives, and greets me with a blessing. Propping his crosier in the corner, he sits down and beckons me to sit on the floor next to him. He apologises for the lack of tea and asks if I'd like "any other consonant?". I decline.
"I know people must think it's some sort of wonderland," he beckons to the building around him, "but Neopets is a business, so it's just a regular office, really. A lot of people think, 'You work for Neopets? That must be like playing the site all day!' - but it's a serious job." He removes his bishop's mitre and places it solemnly next to his Nerf gun and cans of silly-string. "Still, we manage to enjoy ourselves - it's great to have a job you enjoy doing. It's why I turned NASA down, you know? It's all very well for Neil and Buzz, but I can't be blasting off into space all the time."
"Fear of heights?" I smile.
"No," he says seriously, "The Moon took out a restraining order."
Having been working at Neopets for over ten years - "Three hundred and ten, if you count aborted timelines, parallel worlds, and bank holidays." he reminds me - he has had a long time to guide and shape the company to his will. "Most of the site is coded in PHP, of course, but every third page, I code in FORTRAN, then it's passed to a translator written in C and converted into French. For security reasons."
Not all of his ideas have taken off, however - "We piloted a scheme to use carrier pigeons to send interdepartmental memos - unfortunately, it turns out pigeons don't have very good memories so by the time they arrived at their destination they could never recite the memo properly - that's how we lost the furniture mover statistics for the Lost Desert Plot, in fact. We were cleaning feathers out of those servers for weeks - frankly, we're much better off with the cybernetically enhanced monkey memos."
"But you didn't come here to talk about office zoology," Mr. Insane announced at last, "Let me show you what we're working on now." He tugged open a draw of his filing cabinet, ducked the brightly coloured plastic snakes that sprang out of it, and handed me a manila folder from within.
"TOP SECRET" it read, above the crest of the United State's Department of Defence.
"Oh, no, not that one." He took the folder from me and handed me another.
"2012 Plot" it read, "CURSE OF MARAQUA"
"It was my idea," Mr Insane admits, "We were all sat around in the office one day, trying to think of a new story for this year's plot, when I had the brainwave. Why not just remake one of our old plots? We've already got the characters designed and the story written - Lawyerbot calculated that by remaking an old plot, we could cut down on the staff we needed by two thirds. Come to think of it, not all of the staff were best pleased about that, but I think it's a much more efficient deal."
I cannot say I was convinced - it sounded a bit too much like a re-run to me. Could a re-release of a story have the same impact as an original work? Leafing through the folder in front of me, I see the familiar faces of Garin, Jacques, and Isca staring back at me.
"The great thing about this is having a chance to do over what we did before. When you start a project like Curse of Maraqua, you have so many ideas, but there is a big time restraint. So much of the original story was cut, you know? We had three chapters dedicated to a Baby Blu barbershop quartet - they had to go. An entire subplot about King Kelpbeard battling a Kikoughela syrup addiction, that was cut too. We're really looking forward to bringing this stuff back. This time, in high-definition. And 3D."
"The remastered sinking of Captain Scarblade's ship is going to be the highlight of the plot, though. We've hired out a big sound-stage to shoot the entire ship heaving and rolling... There's going to be water rushing down corridors, and then there's this scene with a big floaty door - heartbreaking, just heartbreaking."
And after revisiting Curse of Maraqua, what's next on the horizon for The Neopets Team?
"Well, I'm sure we'll get around to re-releasing other plots too. But first, we've got to get the DVD release ready, the Blu-ray, the director's cut edition, the theatrical re-release..."